Tanikawa M, Sanjiv K, Helleday T, Herr P, Mortusewicz O
Oncogenesis 5 (12) e280 [2016-12-19; online 2016-12-19]
Recent whole-exome sequencing of malignancies have detected recurrent somatic mutations in U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein complex (snRNP) components of the spliceosome. These factors have also been identified as novel players in the DNA-damage response (DDR) in several genome-wide screens and proteomic analysis. Although accumulating evidence implies that the spliceosome has an important role in genome stability and is an emerging hallmark of cancer, its precise role in DNA repair still remains elusive. Here we identify two distinct mechanisms of how spliceosome U2 snRNP factors contribute to genome stability. We show that the spliceosome maintains protein levels of essential repair factors, thus contributing to homologous recombination repair. In addition, real-time laser microirradiation analysis identified rapid recruitment of the U2 snRNP factor SNRPA1 to DNA-damage sites. Functional analysis of SNRPA1 revealed a more immediate and direct role in preventing R-loop-induced DNA damage. Our present study implies a complex interrelation between transcription, mRNA splicing and the DDR. Cells require rapid spatio-temporal coordination of these chromatin transactions to cope with various forms of genotoxic stress.